A memorable moment of meditation

We’ve just returned from a week in Far North Queensland.

We love exploring this vast country and state, so much to see, such amazing landscapes, so many breathtaking views.

While in Cooktown one of the things I really wanted to do was a rock art tour with Nugal-warra Elder and story-keeper, Willie Gordon.

Willie is a member of the Nugal clan within the Guugu Yimithirr tribe, whose traditional land extends from south of Cooktown to the Princess Charlotte Bay.

The experience (it’s much more than a tour) takes place on the land his father and grandfather grew up on in Hopevale, and he guides us from cave to cave translating, interpreting and telling us the stories behind the art.

He tells us how his people were moved off their land and called ‘fringe dwellers’ by the new, white settlers.

He talks about the L-A-W and the L-O-R-E.

He also talks about various plants explaining how and what they were used for traditionally.

Bush foods, medicines, crafts.

Indigenous Elder Willie Gordon guiding one of his rock art tours in Hopevale, Qld
Willie Gordon and me on a Guurrbi tour. Photo: Michael Lund

He spots animal tracks and points out green ants which can give you a very painful bite.

But what really struck me was, as we were taking a seat at the opening of one cave, he suddenly asked if we meditate.

I certainly wasn’t expecting that.

Although why not?

Aboriginal people are very spiritual and although you don’t have to be spiritual to meditate, many people do connect the two.

We talked a bit about about how I meditate, and then he asked us to join him.

We closed our eyes, held our hands at our chest and he asked us to find our centre, to breathe and sit quietly for a few moments.

For Willie, this is his Guurrbi – a sacred place.

A time for reflection.

To look deep inside.

It was a truly beautiful moment, in a very special place.

I shall be forever grateful to Willie for generously sharing his time and knowledge with us.

So if you’re ever heading to FNQ make sure you look him up, you certainly won’t regret it.

Ann 🙏

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